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IRP Core: Flow Cytometry Unit

The Flow Cytometry Unit functions as a Shared Resource Laboratory (core facility) for the National Institute on Aging's (NIA) Intramural Research Program (IRP). This core facility provides analytical flow cytometry and cell sorting services as well as access to instrumentation which is essential to the biomedical research mission of the NIA IRP. Consistent with our mission and based upon the wide variety in the technical skills of investigators, we actively interact with users to provide innovative solutions to research problems, ranging from the optimization of users’ protocols to complex data analysis including our application of the appropriate cell cycle modeling algorithms and strategies to remove debris and doublets for accurate cell cycle analysis. Typical cell sorting experiments include bulk and single-cell (for PCR) sorts of subpopulations of human peripheral blood lymphocytes, mouse thymocytes and spleen cells based on 2-6 color staining, the isolation of cells expressing reporter genes, sorting cell cycle fractions, and rare event sorts (where the frequency of the desired cells is <0.05% of the total population) of human bone marrow side population progenitor cells based on Hoechst 33342 staining and antigen expression, and stained rat brain cells, mouse and human ES cells and ES cell-derived cardiomyocytes. The core is an active participant in several long term translational studies in aging. The laboratory is equipped with state-of-the art equipment, including a Becton-Dickinson (BD) LSRII, FACSCanto II (3-laser, 8-color), FACSAria II (special order 4- laser), a one-of-a-kind Beckman Coulter (Cytomation) MoFlo XDP high speed sorter (7-laser), and an iCyt HAPS system (3 heads, 9 lasers capable 40+parameter system housed in a Baker biological safety cabinet) for sorting live, biohazardous specimens and a modified BioRad/Propel S3 sorter.

Portfolio/Research Areas

  • flow cytometry
  • cell sorting
  • polychromatic flow cytometry
  • immunology/immunophenotyping
  • human translational studies
  • stem cells
  • epigentics and chromatin structure
  • drug transporters
  • cell cycle and cell cycle markers
  • cell proliferation
  • single cell analysis and gene profiling
  • functional analysis